2:00PM Water Cooler 6/20/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday! –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Common House-Martin. River Danube–Visegrad-Nagymaros, Pest, Hungary. With a bell ringing, far off in the distance. And possibly the rumble of a diesel train?

* * *


“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

Biden Administration

“House Armed Services Committee endorses new management structure for Space Force” [Federal News Network]. • Already? We haven’t even lost a war yet! No, but seriously, the front page is all about IT solving problems created by …. IT. There’s a lot to be said for paper….


I guess it’s time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“Hunter Biden reaches plea deal with feds to resolve tax issues, gun charge” [Politico]. “Under an agreement detailed Tuesday in a filing in federal court in Delaware, President Joe Biden’s son will plead guilty to a pair of misdemeanor tax charges. Prosecutors have also charged him with possessing a firearm while being a user of illegal drugs — a felony — but have agreed to dismiss that charge if he completes a two-year period of probation. Hunter Biden, 53, is unlikely to serve time in prison if he complies with release conditions. The deal calls for both sides to recommend that he be put on probation. The probe was overseen by U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump and was permitted to stay in his post after Joe Biden took office in order to complete the investigation of the president’s son.” Coverage keeps implying that “Trump appointee” is the same as “Trump loyalist.” More: “The White House and the Justice Department have said they did not interfere with Weiss’ investigation. The plea agreement is intended to be a comprehensive resolution of Hunter Biden’s potential legal liability in all matters investigated by federal authorities, a person familiar with the negotiations said. Those matters include allegations Republicans have leveled in recent years that his business dealings and his well-compensated post on the Ukrainian energy company Burisma amounted to corruption or violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act.” • Dear Hunter! More lives than a cat!

“Hunter Biden expected to plead guilty to tax-related misdemeanor crimes as part of a plea agreement” [NBC]. “It’s the first time the Justice Department — part of the executive branch, headed by the president — has brought charges against a child of a sitting president.” • Imagine the howls of triumph if a Trump child had been indicted….

“Trump Predicts Hunter Biden Will Get Charged With ‘Something Small’ to ‘Make Their Strike on Me Look Fair'” [Mediaite]. • Nailed it. From June 6, still germane.

* * *

“Trump and other Republicans conjure a familiar enemy in attacking Democrats as ‘communists'” [Associated Press]. • I wish! Or even Narodniks.

“Trump offers dizzying new justifications for classified documents as former Cabinet secretaries sound the alarm” [CNN]. • I’d have to read the transcript….

“Ron DeSantis talks about what he’ll do in White House at state press conference” [Florida Politics]. “‘My mission is to bring accountability to politicized agencies like DOJ, FBI. We’re going to excise the political bias and we are going to end the weaponization of the federal government. We are going to do that,’ the Governor said. ‘And so we actually have already put out a lot of plans about what we’ll do starting Day 1,’ DeSantis added. ‘You know, with me, you don’t have to worry about it. You have a new FBI Director on Day 1, you have a house cleaning on Day 1 in these agencies, and we will use our full Article 2 powers to ensure that the weaponization of government in this country ends.'” • DeSantis sounds like he’s running for Trump’s chief of staff. Not a bad idea, actually!

“DeSantis quiet on Trump indictment as he faces conservatives in Trump country” [Associated Press]. “Speaking to Nevada Republicans for the first time as a presidential candidate, DeSantis made no direct mention of the federal indictment of Trump, who is facing dozens of felony counts for mishandling classified documents. ‘We’re going to end this weaponization of government once and for all,’ said DeSantis, donning an untucked short-sleeve shirt from a podium adorned with bales of hay and bull horns.” • Lots of hay in Nevada, then?

“Republican Presidential Candidates 2024: Who Is Running?” [Teen Vogue]. “A number of other Republican candidates have thrown their hat in the ring for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination either officially or unofficially via trips to Iowa (the first state where Republicans will weigh in on who should be their party’s nominee) and other early primary states like New Hampshire and South Carolina. So far, our cast of characters includes the first former president to face a criminal indictment, a 37-year-old biopharmaceutical entrepreneur who thinks we should raise the voting age to 25, the first female governor of South Carolina, and one of two sitting Black senators. Here’s everything you need to know.”

* * *

“Democratic group launches ‘This f***ing guy’ campaign centered on Trump chaos” [The Hill]. “‘The American people already paid the price for Trump’s daily incompetence, inaction, and irresponsibility. He was just as much of a disaster in the White House as he is out of it, and American Bridge is here to remind voters just how much of a nightmare another four years of Trump would be,’ Tom Perez, an American Bridge co-chairman who is joining the White House as the head of intergovernmental affairs, said in a statement to The Hill.” • Ah, Tom Perez. Still making bank, I see. Odioius even by DNC standards.

Democrats en Déshabillé

Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). It follows that the Democrat Party is as “unreformable” as the PMC is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. If the Democrat Party fails to govern, that’s because the PMC lacks the capability to govern. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

* * *


“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data).

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort.

Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV (wastewater); WY (wastewater).

Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).

Resources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful readers: Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (9), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (5), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Look for the Helpers

“Why our family is covid cautious” [Google Docs]. The conclusion: “Thank you for your understanding. We wish things were different. We are dealing with the world how it is instead of how we wish it were. We know that the world has moved on and is pretending that the data is not real, but the data is real. We are looking forward to lots of wonderful outdoor family catch-ups with you all.” • A useful aggregation (though the bitcoin plug at the end is a bit unsettling).


This is how I feel:

Elites would like the baseline for masking and Covid awareness generally to be zero, at least among the proles. However, the baseline ended up with a higher set point (and maskers, if I may so denote them, are deeply committed). From that baseline, one hopes for a gradual ascent into reason, as denial and commitment to the bit break down (especially in the face of harm to children and family, and experience with our ridiculous medical care system).

“Strategic Masking to Protect Patients from All Respiratory Viral Infections” [NEJM]. Discontinuing masking outside of health care contexts is understandable. Immunity acquired by means of vaccination and infections, combined with the widespread availability of rapid diagnostics and effective treatments, has dramatically reduced the morbidity and mortality associated with SARS-CoV-2. Most SARS-CoV-2 infections are now no more burdensome than the infections caused by influenza and other respiratory viruses that most people have long tolerated without feeling compelled to mask.” Nonsense, because “burdensome” is erasing all harms after the infection clears. More: “There are two reasons, however, why this framing has limited application to health care facilities. First, hospitalized patients are different from nonhospitalized populations. Hospitals, by definition, aggregate some of the most vulnerable people in society when they are at heightened vulnerability (i.e., when they have an acute illness)… Second, nosocomial infections caused by respiratory viruses other than SARS-CoV-2 are common and underappreciated, as are the possible adverse health effects associated with these viruses in vulnerable patients…. Viewed through the lens of these concerns, masking in health care facilities continues to make sense. Masks reduce respiratory viral spread from people with both recognized and unrecognized infections…. We acknowledge that there is widespread masking fatigue among health care workers, that many workers are keen to return to prepandemic practices, and that masks can be uncomfortable or impair communication. We believe the solution is to apply masking requirements judiciously by tying them to levels of virus transmission in the community, the activities that workers are engaged in at a particular time, and individual patients’ risk of severe disease.” • I vehemently disagree. We need to get to a situation where masking and non-pharmaceutical interventions like filtration — heck, clean air generally — are cultural norms. You don’t do that by adjusting levels up and down all the time. (This persistent idea seems to be an artifact of how the PMC loves doing homework — and giving grades. In reality… Remember the color-coded terror alerts under the Bush administration?

Muich-ridiculed, they were. Don’t be fiddling with the knobs all the time. Stick to a high level, like universal masking in the hospitals at al ltimes ffs.

Covid is Airborne

“‘Bold’ study that gave people COVID reveals ‘supershedder’ phenomenon” [Nature]. Challenge study, N = 18. “A study of people who were intentionally infected with SARS-CoV-2 has provided a wealth of insights into viral transmission — showing, for example, that a select group of people are ‘supershedders’ who spew vastly more virus into the air than do others….. Of the 18 participants who developed infections, 2 shed 86% of the airborne virus detected over the course of the entire study — even though both had only mild symptoms.” • So by encouraging people to go back to work with only “mild” symptoms, the public health establishment has infected a lot of people…. Yet again the virus outsmarts us….. (Filing this under airborne, because I’ve never heard of a case of superspreading fomites.


“A Possible Mechanism of Erectile Dysfunction in Coronavirus Disease-19: Cavernosal Smooth Muscle Damage: A Pilot Study” [Revista Internacional de Andrología]. N = 29. From the Abstract: “Nine patients that had COVID-19 and were treated as outpatients were classified as group 1, 10 patients who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 were classified as group 2, and 10 patients who did not have COVID-19 were classified as the control group (group 3). According to penile [color Doppler ultrasonography (CDUS)] and hormonal values results, there was no significant difference between the groups. According to cc-EMG results, amplitudes and relaxation capacities of the cavernosal smooth muscle EMG activities of patients in group 3 were significantly higher than those in the other groups. According to penile CDUS and hormonal values results, there was no significant difference between the groups. According to cc-EMG results, amplitudes and relaxation capacities of the cavernosal smooth muscle EMG activities of patients in group 3 were significantly higher than those in the other groups. COVID-19 can cause ED not only by psychogenic and hormonal factors but also with cavernosal smooth muscle damage.” • So not a vascular issue? Hmm.


“I have COVID! What should my kids and I take to reduce chances of severe illness and Long COVID?” [Studies, Surveys, & Supplements]. “Here are some of my current best bets for speeding up COVID recovery and reducing the chances of Long Covid. I’m focusing on accessible pharmacological treatments with a good balance of safety, tolerability and (potential) efficacy, based on currently available information. This is not an exhaustive list, but a few select treatments that can, for the most part, be combined together if desired. At the end of each treatment review, I present dosing/brand information for both adults and children.” • I’m not a doctor and don’t recommend. And I don’t think much of supplements. But for those of you who do….

“Something Awful”

Lambert here: I’m getting the feeling that the “Something Awful” might be a sawtooth pattern — variant after variant — that averages out to a permanently high plateau. Lots of exceptionally nasty sequelae, most likely deriving from immune dysregulation (says this layperson). To which we might add brain damage, including personality changes therefrom.

* * *

* * *

Case Data

NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data from June 15:

For now, I’m going to use this national wastewater data as the best proxy for case data (ignoring the clinical case data portion of this chart, which in my view “goes bad” after March 2022, for reasons as yet unexplained). At least we can spot trends, and compare current levels to equivalent past levels.


NOT UPDATED From CDC, June 10:

Lambert here: Looks to like XBB.1.16 and now XBB.1.16 are outcompeting XBB.1.9, but XBB.1.5 has really staying power. I sure hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart depends, don’t all move on the green fields and pastures new (or have their access to facilities cut by administrators of ill intent).

CDC: “As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell. Looks like the Walgreens variants page isn’t updating.

Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, from June 10:

NOTE “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.” So not the entire pandemic, FFS (the implicit message here being that Covid is “just like the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week period” is appropriate for bothMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these people so much. Notice also that this chart shows, at least for its time period, that Covid is not seasonal, even though CDC is trying to get us to believe that it is, presumably so they can piggyback on the existing institutional apparatus for injections.


From Walgreens, June 19:

2.0%. Still chugging along, though the absolute numbers are still very small relative to June 2022, say.


NOT UPDATED Death rate (Our World in Data), from June 14:

Lambert here: Theatre of the absurd. I can believe that deaths are low; I cannot believe they are zero, and I cannot even believe that all doctors signing death certificates have agreed to make it so. Looks to me like some administrative minimizer at WHO put the worst intern in charge of the project. And thanks, Johns Hopkins of the $9.32 billion endowment, for abandoning this data feed and passing responsibility on to the clown car at WHO.

Total: 1,167,381 – 1,166,899 = 482 (482 * 365 = 175,930 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).

Excess Deaths

Excess deaths (The Economist), published June 20:

Lambert here: Still some encouragement! Not sure why this was updated so rapidly. The little blip upward?

Lambert here: Based on a machine-learning model. (The CDC has an excess estimate too, but since it ran forever with a massive typo in the Legend, I figured nobody was really looking at it, so I got rid it. )

Stats Watch

Housing: “United States Housing Starts” [Trading Economics]. “Housing starts in the US unexpectedly jumped 21.7% month-over-month.”

* * *

Tech: “Is Apple’s weird headset the future?” [Vox]. “Apple is being quite literal about announcing the new device at its developers conference: It’s hoping that once it shows this thing off to the world, other people will think up fun or at least useful things to do with it, and build up apps to make that happen. That will make the headsets more popular, which will then encourage more developers to build cool apps, which will make them more popular. Repeat.” • I can think of two use cases immediately. First, make the headset remove all advertising from my visual field, like They Live in reverse. Second, make Covid virons floating like smoke in the air visible. The latter may be hard, but it would save a lot of lives, and Apple has good scientists and very deep pockets.

Tech: “Who Builds The Internet? Meet Wikipedia’s Architects” [Byline]. “Within the expansive digital corridors of Wikipedia, there exists a dedicated community of editors who dedicate themselves to curating, expanding, and refining the wealth of information available to the world. These editors, driven by a shared passion for knowledge and armed with a commitment to information, play an instrumental role in shaping the internet landscape we navigate each day. Their tireless efforts are the building blocks upon which the internet’s foundations rest, with Wikipedia standing tall as a testament to their ingenuity and collective wisdom.” • Hmm…

The Economy:

Somebody warn the cats!

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 80 Extreme Greed (previous close: 81 Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 81 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 20 at 1:14 PM ET.

Rapture Index: Closes down one on famine. “The lack of negative activity has downgraded this category” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 183. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most!

Class Warfare

“Opinion: COVID-19 showed us how to beat poverty” [Colorado Sun]. “During COVID-19, we intentionally chose to address poverty and bolster programs we knew worked. We prioritized families’ health and well-being, and we succeeded: poverty dropped during a time of deep financial and social upheaval…. We know which social safety systems work. COVID-19 spotlighted their value and efficacy. What remains is for us to learn from these past several years and grow the effective policies that support our communities.”• Covid showed us how to beat poverty, and the Democrats ran from the lesson as fast as their little legs would carry them….

News of the Wired

“‘I’m not just faster, but taller’: how I learned to walk properly – and changed my pace, posture and perspective” [Guardian]. I’ve gotta say, this reads like a pitch for the therapist/trainer. That said: “Perhaps the most significant claim Hall makes is that, in terms of fitness, walking can be enough. It can complement other forms of exercise, such as yoga and pilates, but if you don’t do anything else, improving your walk can still confer major health benefits. ‘I’m not anti-running, I’m not anti-gyms, I think they all have a role to play,’ she says. ‘But I also think, sometimes, if we just think about the simplest thing that we could all do, and just get people to do it better, even if someone doesn’t necessarily feel as if they want to walk for longer, even if they just looked at changing their walking technique and applied it to their commute, that can be powerful.” • The logic of finding the simpest thing we do and doing it better also seems reasonable. Like non-pharmaceutical interventions….

“The Absurd Logistics of Concert Tours: The Behind-the-Scenes Preparation You Don’t Get to See” [Open Culture]. “the video below lets you see, in timelapse motion, a crew preparing a Rammstein show at a large German stadium, compressing seven days of beehive activity into 2 minutes. It’s a sight to behold.” • Spectacle, we do very well:

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From griffen:

griffen writes: “Completed a recent road trip to Dauphin Island, AL. Caught a few decent photos of the Gulf.” Makes me wonder what those flames out on the horizon are….

* * *

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Roger Blakely

    Los Angeles Department of Public Health posted some numbers on Thursday. They don’t issue press releases every Thursday like they used to. Until May they were doing press briefings on YouTube every Thursday. But they issued one on Thursday, and it included some numbers.

    Wastewater SARS-CoV-2 went from 9% to 17% of the winter peak (the benchmark) over a three-week period. Mind you, the wastewater data comes with a two-week lag. What is that telling me? It tells me that XBB is on the march. As we get to the Fourth of July and the summer travel season, there will be plenty of XBB in circulation.

    You will hear people complaining about having caught a cold and a cough that they cannot shake. The most intelligent of people who got knocked down hard enough will actually get tested and find out that it is COVID-19. Surprise. Expect plenty of XBB in every indoor public space.

  2. Screwball

    As I type this I know a guy who is doing 5 days in jail for having a gun in a car while getting a DUI, and they dropped the gun charge. He had the best defense attorney in town (small NW Ohio town). His dad’s name wasn’t Joe.

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think this is the last we hear of the Biden corruption?

    1. chris

      I’m surprised we’re hearing about this! Regardless of whether we learn more about the fate of Dear Hunter, such a boy!, I can promise the people involved will refuse to reflect on any of the possible questions coming from this matter. For example, does it seem bad that we are expending so much effort defending Democracy in a country where the current president’s family members and other colleagues have had business dealings, as opposed to say, Myanmar or Yemen or even human aid to Libya? It sure looks funny to me. So even if everyone says there’s no corruption, Burisma just loves the Bidens, the whole thing stinks. Not that I expect anyone in DC still has a nose for such a thing…

    2. Pavel

      Shorter POTUS administration: gun controls for thee, not for me (and my son).

      The endless and blatant hypocrisy is as though they know the whole system is rigged. And of course they are right.

      Does anyone think that if Trump or RFK Jr won the election they would be allowed to serve? But that’s a moot point; they won’t be allowed to win.

      The USA has gone down the tubes. Hunter Biden is the poster child of its demise.

      1. Screwball

        According to my PMC friends Hunter is a poster child for “owning up to his problems” and is a hero for such, and then of course “what about Trump’s kids?” I’m fresh out of barf bags.

        1. Acacia

          Ask if they’ve seen the Marco Polo report, and then, when they go silent: “denial sucks, eh?”

        2. ambrit

          Tell them the sad but edifying tale of Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy. Now there’s a tale of ‘redemption,’ with beer!

        3. JBird4049

          Owning up to his problems by not spending life in prison, which is what a fool like me would be doing, good lawyer or not? Sweat summer children aren’t they? Naked and massive, international financial corruption, coke-head extraordinaire, and felonious gun user; maybe, I would get parole after a couple of decades, or possibly get to stay at a Club Fed, maybe.

        4. The Rev Kev

          I’m sure that Hunter will be punished as severely as Sam Bankman-Fried – who recently had five charges withdrawn against him and who already has a room at a country club jail waiting for him for his brief stint. If you think of Hunter as a member of a powerful mob family, then everything falls into place as far as explaining what is going on.

          1. LawnDart

            The ruling-class is all connected, just in a slightly different sense than the mob use of the term. There’s hardly any trouble that they can’t fix or buy their way out of– adverse consequences for their actions are all but unknown to them.

            I hate the ruling-class, and it’s a deep, personal hate. They need to return what they have stolen, make amends for what cannot be returned, or be removed– period.

    3. griffen

      This is out of a playbook, for reference the former assistant AG Lanny Breuer offered a light touch when it comes to prosecution…he of the “sleepless nights” wondering if a financial institution might teeter over circa 2009 to 2011…And no worries here either and for a criminal offense that most people will face the heavy hand of lady justice.

      Have to wonder if a spy balloon will be aloft later in the week.

      1. Carolinian

        So they are foaming the runway for Hunter? A lot of that going around in Obama/Biden world.

        I’m reading yet another book on early USians and John Adams the New Englander thought a major reason for America was to escape legal persecution back in England. So “lawfare” isn’t new. And if the point is to skewer your opponent obviously you aren’t going to turn the sharp end on yourself.

        So, per Adam,s we are not supposed to be about “lawfare” (he didn’t always practice what he preached).

        Still who cares about Hunter? I almost think leaving laptop evidence lying around was a cry for help. It’s his dad who is the real villain.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          “villain” derives from old french for “country bumpkin”.
          i prefer “idiot king” or something.
          shave off the entire upper, upper class…send then to make mud bricks in iraq.
          and figger out how to keep a new upper upper class from forming.
          stocks and pillories?
          or mere shunning of those with excess wealth who wont share?
          change at that level is what it will end up taking to fix this perennial problem.

        2. lyman alpha blob

          Evidently the whole escaping legal persecution thing was just temporary for Adams, since he was arguably the instigator of US lawfare by passing the Alien and Sedition Acts.

          First person jailed was VT Congressman Matthew Lyon for writing a newspaper editorial accusing Adams of “ridiculous pomp” among other dastardly crimes. Today’s Democrat party would do well to remember that despite lowering the boom on Lyon, he was re-elected to another term from jail, showing once again that Vermonters have always had good sense!

          Another favorite anecdote was from a book called “Infamous Scribblers” about the vitriol the founding fathers used to hurl at each other back in the day. Upon winning the presidency, Jefferson repealed Adams’ Alien and Sedition Acts pretty quickly, but he did find the time to prosecute one of Adams’ people under the Acts, just to give him a little taste of his own medicine.

          1. Carolinian

            Yes I think this time more resembles that time rather than WW1 Espionage Act time. Factions gone wild.

            HBO did a pretty good mini series on John Adams….worth a look.

        3. griffen

          If the articles linked today are indicative, it appears the man was experiencing a mid life crisis FWIW in my opinion. Having recently crested past 50 years on planet earth, I completely relate if your career hits the proverbial dead end. Looked a lot like the dude was just trying, trying exceedingly hard at self destructing. I do mean to say, 2018 was really not that long ago and Beau had passed I think in 2014 or 2015 thereabouts while Obama was still residing in the White House.

          Owning up to your mistakes at 53 is not the same as facing the full consequence for those mistakes, I guess is my long winding conclusion. It is good to have some markers, I am merely supposing.

          1. nippersdad

            Hunter Biden failed his first drug test in the Navy in 2013*, and I could swear I had heard something about him pretty soon after the mandatory minimum sentencing for coke vs. crack controversy started while dear old Dad was still a Senator. IOW, this is not a mid-life thing. He has been into hookers and blow for a very long time. And it is not that anyone is being particularly prudish about him. That is just his preferred lifestyle, and he is welcome to it, but it would be nice were those laws he has not been subjected to fairly implemented.

            We elect not to pay a million bucks in taxes, and no one is running to our defense trying to get us a misdemeanor charge. We get caught with a lot of crack, and you can just bet that our houses would be cleaned out in a civil asset forfeiture case just prior to our being given the opportunity to whack weeds by the side of the road in a chain gang for a few years. And that is not even to mention that all other investigations, present or future, will be dropped just…because.

            I, certainly, have known many people with drug problems. I have not known very many people who weren’t subjected to the full force of the drug laws his Father made a point of helping to push through, though. And that is really the problem. There are hundreds of thousands of people sitting in jails across the country with their lives ruined for far lesser infractions.


      2. petal

        It’s gonna be aliens, dude. Aliens.

        I feel like this(Hunter’s deal) is the last sign of banana republic-ness. Game’s over, friends. No going back now. Ugly and uglier from here on out.

    4. nippersdad

      As we have seen since Biden made a point of saying that his crime bill did everything but hang people for jaywalking, he clearly did not mean any of his friends or family….


      …as with Helmsley and taxes, paying for the things your Dad made into crimes are just for the little people.

    5. tegnost

      ‘Something Small’

      Hunter, another pathetic case of affluenza.
      The ruling class is despicable.

        1. Screwball

          Might be enough of them to feed the homeless, but now I’m as bad as them. *slaps himself *

          But then again, they seem to making it clear we can’t “own anyting, eat $hit, and go die.”

          Good comments above. I’m glad I’m not alone in my disgust. That said, I don’t see a way out, and that’s the sad part.

          I’m fortunate I’m old. Good luck to all.

    6. dday

      After I heard about the plea deal, I figured that Hunter would become a poster boy for the Republican Party.

      He apparently failed to pay some income tax. Republicans hate the income tax and in fact just pulled $20 billion out of the IRS budget in the recent debt ceiling deal. The fact that it took a special prosecutor years to find the income tax problem says it all. Most tax cheats never get audited, because Republicans want to drown the IRS in the bathtub.

      As for the gun charge, Republicans hate any law involving guns.

      So on both counts Hunter is the man. Forget Tim Scott, Trump should pick Hunter as his VP.

  3. Raymond Sim

    I speak subject to correction, but I think the cavernosal smooth muscle injury in the erectile dysfunction study actually would count as a vascular issue. And even if not, I believe the presence of such smooth muscle injury in the penis suggests the liklihood of widespread vascular injury.

    1. IM Doc

      I certainly do not think we are ready to confirm these findings with just this one study or maybe a handful. However, to your point, which is excellent, the smooth muscle dysfunction leading to erectile dysfunction is a hallmark of the microvascular damage done to very small arteries in both poorly controlled diabetes and longtime smoking. ED is extremely common to appear in middle age in both of these groups of patients. Because this area is so fragile and so complicated to function correctly, ED is often the first sign of problems. It is well known, however, that if a patient is having ED in these chronic conditions, it is almost assured that there are many other places in their bodies that are involved.

      FYI – there is but one place in the entire body that this microvasculature can be easily and reliably examined right in your doctor’s office. That is the RETINA – done with a simple opthalmoscope. We see all kinds of damage in the retina routinely in uncontrolled diabetics and smokers. You can be guaranteed this same damage is happening in the brain, kidneys, heart etc. Finding these things in the retina can prevent loss of vision – but it can also be a harbinger of things to come and a clarion call to pick up the game with the patient.

      FYI, if you are over 50 and your primary care physician is not routinely carefully examining your retinae, it is time to look for a new PCP. Unfortunately, I have been informed by multiple med students from different medical schools that simple exam skills like retinal evaluation are no longer being taught. I have personally on four different occasions had to show a student from scratch how to examine eyes appropriately. This was normally a skill taught in the first 2 years of med school. Now it is not being done at all. We are becoming far too dependent on X-rays and other tests – and completely neglecting simple things that have been done for generations.

      As an anecdotal aside, since the advent of COVID and the vaccines – I have never seen so many retina issues in otherwise younger healthy people who do not have these underlying conditions. My retinologist consultant has confirmed this with me repeatedly as I have sent him these patients.

      I have stated from the beginning – and will state again – there is absolutely something going on with the spike protein and the vascular endothelium.

      1. LawnDart

        Probably a dumb question, and you don’t need to dignify it with a response, but will “the little blue-pill” still work for a little blue-thingy, or would the sufferer be adivised to seek other remedy?

        1. britzklieg

          see my comment below re: nitric oxide. Dr. Bryan speaks to the effects of the “little blue pill” (originally developed as a heart med) which seems to be all about nitric oxide – vascularity and smooth muscle function etc.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > However, to your point, which is excellent, the smooth muscle dysfunction leading to erectile dysfunction is a hallmark of the microvascular damage done to very small arteries in both poorly controlled diabetes and longtime smoking.

        Super. Thanks!! Great information on the retina, as well.

    2. britzklieg

      Here is Dr. Louis Ignarro, winner of the nobel prize in medicine for his research on nitric oxide. The first link is a brief clip but goes through the issue of NO as it relates to cardiovascular disease, including erectile dysfunction. The second is an hour long video where I assume he goes into greater detail. The third link is Dr, Nathan Bryan who seems, by his videos, to have taken lead on the issue of how important NO is to overall health.

      A big surprise was how NO affects oral health, in that NO is produced first in the mouth with mastication and the initial digestion from the natural flora. Bryan says that no one should use antiseptic mouthwash, as it destroys the flora and leads to all manner of disease, including diabetes… yes, antiseptic mouthwash may be an unrecognized culprit in developing diabetes. He mentions the “nebulized” treatment developed in Israel (Enovid but does not name it) and believes it to be only effective for covid in the nose, whereas the our need for NO is systemic and would seem to impact the entire health spectrum.




  4. flora

    re: ” Imagine the howls of triumph if a Trump child had been indicted…. ”

    Imagine the years in prison you’d get if you had been indicted on those charges….

      1. griffen

        I’ll have to circle back to finishing the video….but a few of the tweet thread replies are of course priceless. Including one about how different rules seem to apply. And then there’s the income tax evasion…which is typically enforced on some quite famous people but I digress.

        As I recall from a recent Taibbi transcript, “Let there be bananas in the Banana Republic.”

    1. tevhatch

      Those rigs are oil rigs, they are flaring off the natural gas entrapped in the oil as price of natural gas when the platforms were built did not make a sufficient ROI to build the handling facilities and pipeline.

      1. Bsn

        At very first glance, I thought that the antidote of the day was the exact point where the Sun was setting and the Moon was rising, at the same time. I wonder if that actually happens? Cool picture even though it reminds me that we are all toast.

        1. GC54

          Nope. Your eyes/camera would need to be sensitive to mid-infrared wavelengths (Moon would be “new” and the side facing us would be -200 C) and Sun and Moon would be at most a few degrees apart. But Sun’s brightness would completely overwhelm the Moon’s at any wavelength.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Rumour Control has it that they shipped his broken a** to a hospital in Berlin where he shuffled off his mortal coil. It’s not like the Ukraine is going to plaster his mug on the side of milk cartons after all.

  5. Mark Gisleson

    “…walking can be enough.”

    I don’t know that I’m taller, but my posture has improved enormously just from carrying a grocery bag in each hand once a week for a few years running. I’m only walking half a mile but it gets results.

  6. Wukchumni

    There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who’s always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated… To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.

    Edward Abbey

    1. tevhatch

      The Humane Arts (series): WALKING – Wes Cecil A discussion of the importance of walking on the cultural history. Delivered as a lecture by Wesley Cecil Ph.D. at Peninsula College. Part of the Humane Arts Lecture Series exploring the key elements in developing a humane existence.

      Wes Cecil delivers often with humor, but always with a twist that makes at least me re-think many hidden assumptions.

    2. KLG

      This reminds me, Wuk! Thank you! Time to read The Monkey Wrench Gang again, for the 10th time! My better half will roll her eyes in the other room when she hears me laughing: He’s reading that book again! Cactus Ed was a treasure. Sorely missed for the past 34 years. What we really need on the case, all of them, is the firm of Hayduke Abbzug Sardis & Smith LLC.

  7. LawnDart

    (Almost) Daily Derailment(s):

    Still chugging-along…

    PHOTOS: Firefighters respond to train derailment in Darien


    UPDATE: Cleanup continues after Corfu train derailment


  8. ambrit

    Tom Perez?! “Odious even by DNC standards.” DNC standards? Isn’t that a case of assuming facts not in evidence?

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      It’s a regular “West Wing.” Do you think it’s possible for Perez and Tanden to stab each other in the back?

      1. Yves Smith

        I know these methods are probably helpful to most people but I get triggered when I see them.

        I did Alexander 3x a week, in person sessions, with the best teacher in the NY metro area for two years. It did nothing for me. And yes, I was trying to incorporate the lessons into my routine walking and movement.

        And the guidance in the Guardian article isn’t helpful either, it just serves to confirm how far out of normal my structure is and thus why guidance based on typical patterns fails. And please don’t say I could make my feet work properly if I tried. I’ve been at this for over 60 years.

        I stupidly tried the “feel the peel, read my heel” idea. I have rigid arches so peeling is a non-starter, as is attempting “sticky foot” with extremely short Achilles tendons (and yes, I stretch multiple times a day, this is again structural). Only three minutes of attempting that at a very slow speed and my knees and right ankle hurt and my right ankle is now puffy at the site of an old sprain. And I have high pain tolerance. This is dispensed as one size fits all advice when it isn’t.

        Needless to say, there was a reason my orthopedist insisted I be excused from the state phys ed requirement: “You are more likely to be injured than get any benefit.” I should know better by now than to try any bright biomechanical suggestions for the general public.

  9. Verifyfirst

    The study that intentionally tried to infect volunteers with Covid is a jaw dropper–first, of 34, only 18 got Covid (so 16 did not–virtually half); second: of the 18 who did, TWO shed 86% of all infectious virus; third: NONE emitted detectable virus before testing positive on a RAT test.

    1. britzklieg


      “Whenever he steps on his…”

      “You’ll think WTF was that?”


      well done, you!

  10. digi_owl

    Ah yes, concert tours.

    I recall hearing about how Pink Floyd did it. Thanks to their elaborate lighting arrangements etc, they had 3 jumbos to handle the logistics. 2 for the stage setups, and 1 for the band itself.

    The two for the stage setup will leapfrog, so that there was always one of them setting up the next location ahead of the band’s arrival.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      when i was playing for a living…at a much, much smaller scale, while living in a van and running from the law and being a folk devil…we carried everything in whatever vehicles we had at hand.
      we always had roadies, too…vicariously experiencing the rockstar(sic) life,lol.
      drummer managed to fit his whole kit into a 75 camaro.
      ride cymbal in his lap.
      given a wreck, would have cut him in half
      amps and pa all went in my van, of course.
      i see sh&t like that, and compare and contrast…lol.
      when we’d add lights…to stick on some flatbed in a pasture or backyard…it got really complicated real fast.

    2. Robert Gray

      > The two for the stage setup will leapfrog, so that there was always one of them setting up
      > the next location ahead of the band’s arrival.

      I saw a historical tidbit once where a maharani or Governor-General’s wife or some such personage (in India, it was) had a similar arrangement. Her entourage included duplicate everything so that when she made a progress through the realm the camp that she reached each afternoon was exactly the same as the one she had left in the morning.

  11. steven t johnson

    The PMC? The professions include medicine, law and the clergy. The notion that all lawyers are peers is BS and the implicit claim a televangelist and a bivocational pastor are somehow the same is doubly so. There is no reason to group the professions together. Even medicine, which is in fact much more uniformly an economic and social elite, has trouble passing for ruling class when doctors deal with the insurance companies. As for the managerial class, that actually lumps together an assistant shift manager at your local McDonald’s with Jamie Dimon. The really big managers will not eagerly marry off their daughters to some grubby physician who works with his hands. The lawyers who matter, i.e., those whose clients genuinely are ruling class would be grateful to sell their daughters to their clients, not to lawyers, much less doctors and never clergymen.

    As for PMC being somehow an identifiable part of the economy in the way an actual owner of property or a wage worker? That is to laugh. That kind of functional definition of class is way too Marxist to be acceptable. There’s a reason why “class” is reduced to SES, namely, obscurantism. But the PMC is reducing “class” to even less than SES! There is no good motive for this. I can only conclude it’s something about trying to find some sort of excuses for cross-class collaboration and right-fake left populist political shenanigans.

    1. Raymond Sim

      “… way too Marxist to be acceptable.”

      I feel nasty for laughing, but dude …

      1. steven t johnson

        Your belief that Marxist thinking is widely accepted is shared by Trumpers and Nazis, who are determined to overthrow the Communist threat in the Democratic Party. But that belief confirms my point. On the plus side, you’re the joke, so laughter is entirely appropriate.

        If by some miracle of bad writing, this *isn’t* your belief, I can only go by the context of what I read.

        1. hunkerdown

          Your feelings are of no evidentiary value. PMCs have the function of lying for capitalism, anyway. That’s actually one less reason to accept your judgments as valid or informational, but merely as self-serving bullshit statements on behalf of the property you own, or at least think you own.

        2. Raymond Sim

          I don’t believe ‘Marxist thinking’ is widely accepted, whatever the phrase may mean exactly. What ‘context’ led you you to that leap I wonder?

          I don’t think a miracle of bad writing was involved though. Given that ‘widely accepted’ seems to equate to ‘acceptable’ for your purposes I’d say it was bad thinking.

          No offense, but you sound like AI. If you’re a real person I urge you to undertake assiduous efforts to improve your reasoning skills.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      i agree…witness the experience of my late wife, the teacher…and all her colleagues.
      hardly part of the PMC, no matter whats left of their power, these days, for the influencing of the youth.
      i’m in texas…your results may vary.
      i think of PMC as more like my brother and my stepmom…wealthy and disconnected from their roots…as well as totally disconnected from the lower orders.
      we once had a flat on the 350 mile trip to my dads…years ago, when the boys were little.
      spare was dry rotted, so i had to walk with it…boys, wife and i taking turns rolling it…till some kind soul picked us up and made it happen.
      telling the tale…all 4 of us telling the tale…at dad’s, late…and my stepmom:” why didnt you just call tripple A?”
      i started with “now why didnt i think…”
      wife interjected:” we dont fucking have tripleA”.
      stemmom was subtly racist, wife was obviously mexican…and obviously enbubbled.
      that’s the kinda thing i think about when i see “PMC”.
      it would be better to actually define it better, i admit.
      might be more of an attitude…or an orientation,lol?…than a definite income level or whatever.

      conversely, define “Precariat”.

      1. steven t johnson

        Normal people lack your telepathic powers to definitively look into the minds of other people and find the bad attitudes that define class position. Also, I think defining class by attitude is pretty much defining class by taste, an approach that is purely ideological and thoroughly useless, even in the instances when I suspect you’ve guessed correctly.

        1. hunkerdown

          If you care what the Republicans think, you are more responsible for enabling their existence than they are for existing, and you need to be held every bit as accountable for your role in perpetuating the problem.

    3. chris

      Are the Marxists in the room with you now? It’s ok. This is a safe place…

      As for the PMC, if you’re interested in the academic distinctions discussed on here regularly, I suggest reading Barbara Ehenrich. Or don’t. Be well.

      1. steven t johnson

        Googling a little, I find this “When the social worker confronts her client, or the manager his worker, they do so in an ‘objectively antagonistic’ relationship. The PMC are ‘salaried mental workers who do not own the means of production and whose major function in the social division of labor may be described broadly as the reproduction of capitalist culture and capitalist class relations.'” And when a nanny confronts the child/children they take care of, that’s an objectively antagonistic relationship in the same sense, which is to say, as this example show, it isn’t. When a genuine manager confronts workers in an effort to make profit for their employer, *that* is a directly antagonistic relationship. Another way of putting it is, that is a zero-sum game. Lumping social workers and nannies and for that matter, *the parents* together with managers means seeing social workers as profiting off the clients, who lose every time the social worker gets paid. If PMC is somehow supposed to exclude such nonsense, why write this absurdity in the first place?

        And it’s still really absurd to lump together a shift manager at a McDonald’s with Jamie Dimon. The notion that the upper tiers of management are in any significant sense mental workers needs a lot of explication. Insofar as there is any mental work being done, it’s very much like the clerical work: Pretty much all of it is done by lower-paid employees. I suppose you could call deciding how the stockholders are going to get the proper quarterly report so that your stock options increase in value may be counted as mental work by someone who comes across like an Ehrenreich, who seems to fixate solely on appearances.

        But then, I think upper management has different forms of property than title deed to the whole companies or real estate tracts. I even think someone with a copyright is a property holder of a non-classical sort, though, so there you are. The notion the nanny isn’t a mental worker is extraordinary. If the objection is that the distinction between mental and manual labor in that case doesn’t carry the weight assigned to it, I can only remind you that it’s the PMC believers who are doing the assigning.

        And if you agree with Ehrenreich that there really is such a thing as reproducing capitalist culture and capitalist class relations in general, much less by mental labor paid by salary? Again, the nanny counts. PMC is an absurdity. I don’t know where else Ehrenreich generated this stuff (this example was from https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/on-the-origins-of-the-professional-managerial-class-an-interview-with-barbara-ehrenreich) but I see no reason to waste my time, regardless of regularly academic discussions take place here. I do see reason to think you are entirely insincere in writing “Be well.”

        1. hunkerdown

          Yes, societies are produced the same way they are reproduced. Only a religious nut would attribute prior existence to a thought form. When people stop playing your games and respecting your feelings and avoiding your sacred bullshit, your society is no longer reproducing. Everyone should do this and start abusing zealots in public so they stop whining about their psychoses.

          Yes, partisanship is a psychosis, and you need to seek professional help for it, stat, instead of wasting our time reciting your partisan mythical bullshit. This is a critical thinking blog.

          1. Acacia

            Thanks for that link to Simone Weil. Also, BTW and OT, but if you care to elaborate on your thesis about K-pop as spook honeypot, I would be happy to read it. :) Maybe in the daily WC.

            1. hunkerdown

              Acacia, not K-pop, but archive.today. I just don’t see any clean proposition for some Petrov dude in (Czechia, IIRC) coughing up on the order of a grand a month to host such a thing for years on end, and question why it seems particularly popularized, even normalized in dissident spaces like 4chan’s /pol/ and here, for better or worse.

              K-pop is more like a harem.

                1. hunkerdown

                  Acacia, for paywall busting? I use local solutions (browser add-ons) for what I can, where I can verify by visual inspection they’re not bent, can’t do funny stuff, and won’t auto-update. Also, many browsers allow you to change the User-Agent identifier that is passed to the server with each request. In effect, you can dress in a Google “auditor” uniform and enjoy the buffet, on the theory nobody’s going to bounce Google.

    4. hunkerdown

      The reason “class” is reduced to SES in capitalist society is its invidious, exploitation-enhancing quality.

      All of your criticisms are addressed in the Ehrenreich paper, same as the last time you performed your emotions about it here. Address the paper if you have any respect for your class episteme, or stop whining.

      Adding, parent post is a perfect example of “reproducing capitalist culture and capitalist class relations” and why the PMC needs to be brought to heel.

        1. hunkerdown

          Thank ye! Cavil-ries that think their feelings exempt them from critique and from their own damned class ethos as Understanders of the Discourse should probably have their credentials shredded while they’re made to watch.

      1. steven t johnson

        PMC as seen practically everywhere is exactly reducing “class” to SES which is precisely because it helps obscure rational understanding, invidiously enhancing exploitation. As an presumed exponent of PMC, you thus confess to being an invidious enhancer of exploitation.

        Your order to properly cite the Ehrenreich paper is rejected. I do not have access to back issues of Radical America; I am not your graduate student; I see not reason to think Ehrenreich is some genius everyone should study before they dare open their mouths; the notion there is a different class dominating the Democratic Party than the Republican Party needs more than an offhand reference to Thomas Ferguson to stop any conversation about a PMC; imagining a populist revolt against an imaginary PMC class strikes me as in practice a fig leaf to unit with right populists.

        The PMC is being brought to heel by economic decline, leaving your opinions, insofar as they coherent in any way, hopelessly outmoded, if not mindless cliche.

        1. hunkerdown

          In case the other post doesn’t make it, I’ll do you this much of a favor:


          I’m “here for” her idea, not for parasocial relations with deceased surrogate mother figures. If she reconsidered the theory later, that’s on her. Other people can carry the idea forth as far as it apparently needs to go.

          As a general rule, PMC people have a really poor record distinguishing their emotions from reality, as the present proxy war has made crystal clear. So I don’t think it’s necessary to give much consideration to what people in your circle think of Marxism, because it’s very likely they’re capitalist zealots and speak only for their estates anyway, and are therefore non compos and unfit to judge anything or anyone at all.

  12. kareninca

    My 80 y.o. mom lives in CT. Very recently (I believe last week, but my mom did not get that detail) the grandson of an acquaintance of hers went camping with his 39 y.o. girlfriend. In CT; not in the deep woods somewhere. The girlfriend felt what seemed like an asthma attack coming on, and she went to the car to get her inhaler. And dropped dead. The boyfriend called 911 but of course it was too late.

    I asked my mom if she were aware of the notion that young people are dying suddenly in greater numbers than they have in the past, but she was not aware of that.

      1. kareninca

        No-one in that region has been paying attention to covid for a very long time now. It is terrible enough if it is strictly an asthma death, but I am very worried that it is an early sign that there are going to be lot of sudden covid deaths due to heart and vascular damage.

  13. The Rev Kev

    And in today’s clown world story, the Ukraine has appointed Andrey Melnik to be their envoy in Brazil. This was the guy who was the Ambassador to Germany and insulted the Germans daily and who called Chancellor Olaf Scholz an ‘offended liver sausage’ It was only when the guy started praising Bandera that the Germans were able to get rid of him. I think that Melnik will discover that President Lula and Brazil are not beholden to “the cause” and will not put up with his crap-


  14. flora

    Eric Weinstein calls out Dr. Peter Hotez for refusing to debate. Thread.

    Doctor: may I give a different perspective?

    Many Americans learned about how far off their concept of “science” was from COVID. They thought that science was something they could trust. They trusted their vaccines. Their FDA. The CDC.

    And then they saw the COVID show….


  15. Tom Stone

    Has IM doc commented on the “Intercept’s” article on Covid patient Zero?
    It seems plausible to me because I have met quite a few very bright young men who didn’t plan to have an accident.
    And I have had that exact phrase used on me, “I don’t plan to have an accident” in a tone of contempt.

  16. rjs

    i wonder who has to clean up after everyone in the State Dept craps their pants:

    Saudi Arabia Signals Openness to Naval Alliance With Iran

    Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with his Iranian counterpart in Tehran on Saturday and signaled Riyadh is open to a naval alliance with Tehran, an idea recently put forward by Iran’s navy chief.

    “I would like to point out the importance of cooperation between our two countries concerning the regional security, especially the security of maritime navigation and waterways,” Prince Faisal said at a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.Iranian Navy Commander Shahram Irani said earlier this month that Iran was working to form a naval alliance with regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iraq.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Hey, if this comes to fruition it would leave the US Navy without a real mission in the Gulf as the local powerhouses of countries will be doing their own policing there.

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